This contract would take her up till almost her due date. If she is good enough how will...read more
2,492 people responded to our 2018 survey
Key demographics of the Workingmums Survey respondents:
60% of those working returned to the same job they were in before maternity leave, whilst 40% returned to a new job after their last period off work.
73% of those working had 12 months or less off work before returning. 25% took between 1-6 months off, and 48% took 7-12 months off. 11% had more than 2 years away from working.
Generally women are returning to work for financial reasons (73%), although 28% wanted to continue their career path, 9% wanted a new challenge, and 5% returned to work because their children started school.
60% returned to the same job they were in before maternity leave/a period of time off work.
Of those mums who are already working flexibly, there is a 50-50 split between those who have a formal agreement, and those who have an informal agreement.
Most flexible working mums feel that they do have enough flexibility (60%), but 49% agree that flexible working has affected their career progression – and 54% of those working part time feel that their working pattern means they miss out on opportunities for career progression such as training. Only 7% work on a job share basis – which is often touted as a good route for flexible workers to achieve career progression.
42% feel that their flexible working is not perceived positively by their colleagues, and 27% feel discriminated against in their workplace due to their flexible working arrangement.
65% agree that they have to work harder to prove themselves in the workplace, to overcome unconscious bias, and 56% worry about their flexible working being taken away.
59% of mums say their partner doesn’t work flexibly.
Does working at home improve work-life balance? 16% of those who work mainly at home agree that it does, whilst 7% think that they end up working more than they would if they were in a setting outside of home.
6% of homeworkers feel left out of office decisions.
7% work on a job share basis. 25% work for an SME, and 33% work for a company with more than 250 employees. 29% work in the public sector, and 6% are self employed.
39% are earning less (full time salary equivalent) than they did before having children – 34% earn the same rate and only 27% have progressed in their salaries.
57% of mums say that they tend to take on more of the day to day child-caring responsibilities – an additional 16% are single parents. Only 23% share it equally.
51% of mums say they tend to do more of the housework than their partners.
11% have other caring responsibilities, eg elder care. Of these, 68% state that their employers are not supportive of the caring demands on them.
Rising costs: 33% pay nothing for childcare, 8% pay up to £100 per month, 12% between £100 and £250 per month. 18% between £250 and £500 per month and 29% pay over £500 per month (up from 23% in 2016). 50% make use of grandparents to reduce their childcare costs.
45% say that their childcare arrangements are not flexible enough for their needs.
44% struggle with after school and holiday childcare.
Of those not currently working, 56% say that childcare costs are making it difficult for them to return to work (up from 51% in 2017)
Most of our respondents who are not working were last in paid employment in the last 12 months (42%).
24% left work to have children and be a stay at home mum/dad (down 11% on 2016 figures – which may suggest that more people are finding they need to work for financial reasons – although other reasons could be at play.
11% were made redundant, 5% left because their request for flexible working was denied, 6% wanted a change and 7% found juggling it all too hard. 28% are currently on parental leave.
77% of those currently on parental leave want to return to work on a part time basis.
36% of mums currently on parental leave have not yet discussed flexible working upon their return to work.
15% had already had their request refused on a range of grounds;
35% of respondents eligible for Shared Parental Leave would consider it.
Some 40% of those who wouldn’t take it said it would not make sense financially. However, 30% of these said enhancing Shared Parental Pay (SPP) could make a difference to their decision.
Other reasons given for not sharing leave:
We asked all parents, working or not, what factors our users thought made a ‘family friendly company’.
Offering flexible hours for full time jobs was rated highest at 88%, followed by offering more flexibility during school holidays (75%); allowing holiday days to be taken at short notice to deal with sick children etc (75%); allowing regular work at home (72%); offering part time jobs (70%); helping with childcare (64%); offering enhanced maternity/paternity/parental pay (53%). Networking, support groups and parenting courses were not considered important to most.
62% have considered setting up their own business. The biggest reason by far given for considering starting a business or franchise is the need for greater flexibility and more control – 39% said this. Others reasons given were wanting to be their own boss (12%) and that they had always wanted to set up their own business (16%). 13% were already in the early stages of setting up and 9% were working on a business plan. Access to funding was seen as the biggest challenge.
67% of women were interested in retraining. 20% have retrained in the last 12 months. 77% said they would be more likely to retrain if courses were more flexible.